Linux: It's Everywhere

It's everywhere, and you're probably already using it. Whether you realize it or not, most people use Linux or open source software every day. If your smart phone or tablet runs Android, it is running Linux. If you visit a website, there is approximately an 80% chance that the site you are visiting is hosted on a Linux computer. Ordering lunch at Burger King? Their POS system runs Linux. Visiting Facebook, Amazon, Google, or most WordPress blogs? Linux and other open-source components dominate these popular sites and services. Using a supercomputer? Most run Linux. How about a Chromebook? Linux again. Streaming videos, using a smart thermostat or using other "Internet of Things" devices? Many of these use Linux due to its power, efficiency, and resistance to malware. How about the famous $35 Raspberry Pi computer? Once again, Linux is the operating system of choice for most projects. Using a wireless router? Most of those run Linux as well. Navigating a drone, underwater sub, or space vehicle? Linux rules the day there too.

Linux is an operating system like Windows, Mac OS, Android, or iOS. Unlike the commercial products, Linux is "open source". In simple terms, "open source" refers to something that can be modified and shared because its design is publicly accessible and the license allows for such use. This approach to software development often leads to software that is more extensively peer-reviewed, maintained and enhanced by a community of programmers and enthusiasts rather than companies primarily seeking to turn a profit. This collaborative process allows developers to build off of the success of their peers, and to work together to swiftly fix bugs and security vulnerabilities.

One of the reasons that Linux is so common as a web hosting platform is its solid reliability and strong resistance to viruses and other forms of malware. Although nothing is completely impervious to attack, Linux has proven to be one of the most secure options.

Linux is gaining significant ground on the desktop. Linux can be installed on nearly any computer that formerly ran Windows or Mac OS (often referred to as x86 computers or PCs). Additionally, Linux can be installed on many devices with ARM processors, such as Chromebooks, Raspberry Pi computers, tablets and smart phones. Many find that Linux runs more quickly and efficiently on their existing computers, providing a noticeable boost in performance using the same hardware.

More than 31 Flavors

Unlike closed-source operating systems such as Windows or Mac OX, Linux offers users a wide variety of "distributions" or "flavors". You can choose between Ubuntu, Red Hat, Arch, Puppy, Debian, Mint, CentOS, Fedora or openSUSE distributions (and many more). Within these distributions, you can choose a variety of desktop environments (user interface) such as Unity, Gnome, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon, LXDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, LXQt, or Openbox (and many more).

For example, you can choose Ubuntu's standard installation with the Unity desktop (simply called "Ubuntu"). Alternatively, you could choose the same Ubuntu distribution, but instead choose the Mate desktop (Ubuntu Mate), the LXDE desktop (Lubuntu), the XFCE desktop (Xubuntu), or the KDE desktop (Kubuntu). The programs generally work the same regardless of the desktop you choose, and once installed, you can switch between different desktops simply by logging out and logging back in. Linux allows you to choose the distribution that best suits your needs, and the desktop that best suits your personal preferences. It's time to enjoy computers again.

Perhaps you are looking for a system that can be started from a USB stick on a hotel's computer when you travel, keeping your as private as possible. Perhaps Tails Linux or Lightweight Portable Security (from the US Department of Defense) would be the best option for you.

It's Time for a Better Way

Imagine not having to purchase a subscription to antivirus software each year, or not having to buy the latest version of a program just so you can open up a document that a client sent you. How about being able to keep using a perfectly good printer or scanner that is no longer has a current Windows or Mac driver? Imagine having your operating system and all its applications update quickly and easily and without the need for a computer degree or to guess the answer to obscure questions that make no sense. Think about how great it would be to just use your computer without having to fix problems with the operating system or software all the time. Even better, how about having your computer work just as well a year or two later... if not faster... than it did when you first set it up? Imagine being able to use your existing computer for longer before needing to upgrade. Imagine a smartphone or tablet smart enough and powerful enough to run the same applications you run on your laptop or desktop computer. Imagine a future where you can afford to have every computer in your business with every application you could possibly need installed, ready to run, and legal... for free.

It's time for a better operating system and a better way of doing business. It's time for desktop Linux and open-source software.

Diversity and Strength

The diversity and modular nature of Linux is a source of its strength and suitability to such a broad range of tasks, from the most humble project computer or smart device, to a daily use computer, up to the most powerful supercomputer created. Indeed Linux is so powerful and capable, that Joshua Kiepert, a doctoral student at Boise State created a Linux-based mini-supercomputer using a cluster of $35 Raspberry Pi computers for less than $2,000. This is but one example of the amazing power of Linux and open source.

Open Source Software

Some of your favorite applications you use with Windows or Mac OS are available in Linux. Firefox and Chrome web browsers, Thunderbird email, LibreOffice office suite, GIMP graphics editing software, Skype, FileZilla, VirtualBox, Steam, and Kodi media center are just a few.

Some Windows programs can run in Linux using a "compatibility layer" application called "Wine". You can search the Wine Project database for detailed information about specific programs and versions.

For those situations where a program you need isn't available for Linux and won't run well using Wine, there are usually high-quality alternatives available. For example, if you need an email program such as Outlook or Mac Mail, consider switching to Thunderbird, Evolution, or Claws Mail. If you need and office suite such as Microsoft Office, try LibreOffice, OpenOffice, AbiWord or Calligra. Need a business accounting or money management program? Try GnuCash, KMyMoney, or HomeBank. Most Linux distributions include repositories that work much like an app store on your phone or tablet, and the majority of the programs are free.

Free Initial Consultation

Contact us to arrange for a free initial consultation to discuss how Linux and open-source solutions can work for you. If you are located in the Portland, Salem, Albany, Corvallis or Eugene metropolitan areas, we can arrange to meet you in person, also at no charge.

Appaloosa Business Services, Incorporated
5434 River Road N. #145
Keizer, Oregon 97303
503.336.1388
info@spottedhorse.com